Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Michael Kiwanuka: Believe The Hype
Already out in England and garnering the praise usually reserved for a boy child Manchu Emperor, Michael Kiwanuka's debut "Home Again" just might be all that.
Early reviews and hype put me off. Hype always puts me off. (The "new" Adele?) But I gave in once the record became available to me. I listened and could not stop listening. Too early, I know, to call this my fave of the year, but not too early to say, this will be in my Top Ten.
The comparisons to Bill Withers seem rather lazy. Yes he's an African-American with an acoustic guitar, but that's really about it, at least to my ears. What I'm hearing is Paul Simon, Taj Mahal, Richie Havens and a much more positive Nick Drake.
Kiwanuka is wonderfully musical, and the production on "Home Again" is dead-on, recalling mid to late 60's folk and psychedelia. At the risk of gushing to the point of turning YOU off with hype, and doing the opposite of what I am here to do, please just listen to this record. The U.S. release has changed a number of times and it now sits at "unavailable." Amazon says the U.K. edition will be available on 4/3, but they're wrong. It's available now.
Here's a head-start.